to shuffle the papers, very deliberately and with his lips
moving as though he were reading to himself, and his eyes
blinking slowly behind his spectacles.
"We've got those figures down to rock bottom," Mr.
Peacham said. " I know that all right. But I wish we could
shave off a little more, some way. The amis are always say-
ing the whole principle just isn't economic. Now take that
editorial last week in the Messenger, They say we run the
price of tobacco up by tacking on a lot of items and the
farmer never sees that money. And that we hurt business
and hurt the community."
"All those arguments have been satisfactorily answered, I
believe." It was Senator Tolliver talking. He was holding
an unlit cigar in his hand, rolling it delicately between his
fingers. " In the papers and on the platforms. We know it is
an economically justifiable method. And all reasonable men
whose interest hasn't blinded them-----"
"Such a calf ain't been dropped yet," Mr. Christian
"—they all see that. Even the companies themselves will
probably come to accept the situation with good grace. They
will save a good deal of money by being able to deal directly
with a responsible organization such as the Association. It
will no longer be necessary for them to run from one indi-
vidual grower to another. In the end they will save more
than the Association expense and per cent. They will come
to see the advantages, I am sure." He kept rolling the cigar,
slowly and delicately, between the forefinger and thumb of
his right hand. Now and then as he spoke—and he spoke
with a slight air of constraint, of abstraction—he would
glance at the pile of documents in front of Mr. Sills. Mr.
Sills had, apparently, found his paper now, for he coughed
sharply and catarrhally.
" And I am sure," the Senator continued, " they will bow
to the inevitable and accept the position of the Association* I
interpret these offers as a token of a new, a more reasonable
attitude toward our organization."